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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration


Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)

 

NAMI Mercer
Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Start Date
2005

Brief Description
NAMI Mercer, a local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) based in Lawrenceville, NJ, strives to improve the quality of life of individuals experiencing mental illnesses. It advocates for people to live and function in the community without experiencing discrimination and stigma. It also helps to provide education, support, and empowerment resources for families and people with mental illnesses.

Situation
The stigma and discrimination that many people with mental illnesses face daily is a topic that only recently has attracted the attention of many government officials. Richard J. Codey, New Jerseys current Governor, has become a powerful advocate for improving mental health and mental illness education in the State. He and his wife, Mary Jo Codey, have spoken publicly about their own struggle with depression and have strongly encouraged local government support for NAMI Mercers new educational campaign.

Solution
NAMI Mercer is spearheading a campaign of 150 speaking events in and around Mercer County, New Jersey, in an effort to counter the stigma of mental illness, particularly for depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. These events feature 12 speakers, including Mrs. Codey, who have struggled with their own mental illnesses. The campaign is unique in that the county government has committed $6,000 in grants and other funds toward the implementation of the program.

Results
Events are held in various venues and have been designed to target school systems, the general public, law enforcement, and medical professionals. The leadership of NAMI Mercer hopes that the forums will reach more than 5,000 people and that they will encourage people experiencing the symptoms of a mental illness to seek treatment.

Contact
For further information contact, NAMI Mercer, New Jersey, Inc., 3371 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, phone: 609-799-8994, e-mail: home@namimercer.org.

Type
Local

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